The Federal Government on Tuesday announced the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos for scheduled rehabilitation work that will last from July 2020 to January 2021.
The bridge, considered the busiest in the country with a total traffic of 132, 702 vehicles per day, will be officially closed to road users by midnight on Friday.
Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, told reporters in Abuja that maintenance work will be carried out on a length of 3.5 km out of the 11.8 km bridge.
According to him, the rehabilitation of the bridge became imperative due to failing and damaged portions, adding the government cannot afford to rebuild the bridge if allowed to collapse.
He said that the Third Mainland bridge, which links the Lagos Island with the Lagos Mainland, was among the bridges designated for maintenance after a comprehensive assessment of 37 bridges across the country.
Fashola, while appreciating the hardship the closure of the bridge will bring on Nigerians, noted there was no other way to carry out the maintenance work.
According to him: “The construction of the bridge spanned three decades and we cannot afford to rebuild it if we allow it totally collapse.
“Infrastructure must be maintained. After the work is done, we will have a better driving experience on the bridge.”
The Minister also disclosed N277 billion will be needed to rehabilitate all the 37 bridges across the nation.
Director Highway Bridges and Design, Engineer Emmanuel Adeoye, said the maintenance work on the bridge include the replacement of damaged bars, hydro-demolition of all non-firm parts and lifting of two of the Bridge Spans.
Others are anti-rust treatment of exposed bars, replacement of 14 damaged expansion joints and other auxiliary works that may be directed by Engineers.